Gospel singer back from sabbatical

Emmanuel Kafe
SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean musician Raymond Bopoto is back from a six-year sabbatical from the gospel scene with a nine-track album titled “Batai Dzimba”.

Known in gospel music circles as Mr Ray, his album – which speaks mainly about unity, the Holy Spirit, patience, commitment and love – is a must-listen.

Mr Ray, who grew up in Guruve and now lives in Polokwane, said the nine-track “Batai Dzimba” is another step in the development of his career since starting out in 2010.

He added that contrary to talk of gospel music dying, “the genre is actually on an upward march and is not likely to fade as Zimbabwe is predominantly a Christian nation”.

“Batai Dzimba” was launched last week on Radio Zimbabwe, and he said there has been a positive reception from listeners.

Mr Ray and his The Magi band are working on a video for the first track, “Mazviita”.

The musician said his songs are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

His vocation dates back to singing in church in 1998. Thereafter he worked with big names like Baba Manyeruke, before mingling with the likes of Jah Prayzah in his formative years.

The move to South Africa saw him start work with his band, The Magi.

All the songs on “Batai Dzimba” were composed and produced by Raymond and recorded at The Magi Studio in South Africa. His debut album, “Never Despair”, was released in 2010 with the song “Mushandirapamwe” becoming an overnight sensation.

He followed up with “Masvingo eJericho” in 2011, with “Tinotenda” and “Baba Varikudenga” being the top songs.

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